Allow yourself to be loved and supported by the Universe. The Chariot moves you forwards. You will be helped. But you need to also get involved in this too which means you need to be very focused and determined when you get that nudge and help from the Universe. You are learning this now. When your intuition and instincts spike and you know you’re being guided and you know what’s the right thing to do for you. That’s when you need to take action on that and listen.

It’s all about being very determined, not from a mental point of view, not from getting up in your head, not by problem solving or working it out. No, instead it comes by listening to your intuition, listening to that inner core, that guides you and tells you, “This is the right way to go,” and you know that it is the right way to go. You listen to the direction you’re being guided into. You feel that with the sense of ease and flow within you. After that, it is about allowing this direction into your life.

When it comes to every day life, it’s not always ease and flow. There are challenges, there are difficulties. What they are telling you is that it is all about remembering, remembering their guidance, remembering your inner guidance and why you decided to move forwards on this path in that way. When you start moving forwards, don’t be afraid to stay feeling very focused and determined. You may have to encounter some obstacles. You may have to go about things a slightly different way. All of this is absolutely OK. It’s no problem.

If you move forwards with trust you know you will be given the next step, that you will be supported. They are standing beside you helping you. The seven of wands is the general energy and sets the tone of this teaching and healing today. It’s all about knowing what is in your heart and moving forwards from that set point. Focus now and in the future on what you know is right for you and then moving forwards from this point.

Perhaps other people think differently. Perhaps other people have opinions about what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Perhaps you have people or situations or events that drag you down. But you can fly free. You can avoid, transcend and move beyond all the limitations by listening to your inner guidance and allowing them – the guides, your spirit guides, the Universe and angels to guide you onto the next step for you.

It won’t always be easy. That’s OK. The Universe is not going to send you any more than you can deal with. Have faith in yourself. Feel the strength within you as well as the strength that they bring to you. Allow your awareness to feel the energy of the Universe around you. Allow yourself to feel the energy of your own strength – of spirit, your own spirit, of the energy of all things combined.

The Hierophant and the Page of Coins. Good news comes to you when you stay on the path that you know, from your inner selves’ point of view, is right for you. Your on an inner journey here. You are moving along your path towards the next right step for you and they’re saying, “You can get there. You can move towards the next stage for you.” They’re guiding you. You’re inner guidance is guiding you.

There may be someone coming into your life who will also speak to you from the guides. You may have a physical guide in your life – a supporter, a helper, a mentor. You don’t actually need this. If you have this, it’s wonderful. If you don’t have physical support, don’t worry. They are telling you that they are there for you.

Stay true to your path. Be the constant, perpetual and life long student. Be a teacher to other people by being full of this youthful Page of Coins energy. When we allow this into our lives, this is the key. There is this sense of good news, the potential for new beginnings for something positive to come into your life. There is something new, a new start that is trying to break through. This is all about learning, offering and offering your true self.

Eight of wands is about moving forwards. We thank the guides and the Universe for moving us forwards. Perhaps things have felt stuck lately and things have felt challenging in recent times. You can and will move forwards. If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s coming very soon. Take a deep breath and allow the Universe to move through you and to guide you and help you and support you in moving towards this next step on this beautiful journey that you are on. You are moving along this path. You are going to feel inspired.

It’s all about inner strength and journey. It’s about you finally flowing up and over and around those barriers that are within you. You are going to transcend your inner obstacles very soon. You are going to get the opportunity to move beyond and to find an inspiring way to get where you want to be.

Yes, you have the ace of swords to help you. The truth is coming. They are saying, “All is well,” you are finally cutting the cords with the past situation which has been making things difficult for you. We thank the Universe, we thank our guides and angels for cutting those cords now during this meditation now. We watch as the fall away, as the drop away, as they flow and we transcend and rise up – as we move beyond.

In the coming days we will encounter some small residual strands of these old issues but we can move past them. This is what they want you to know. You have the power to cut away those few, final tendrils and to move forwards and to flow forwards.

You are already successful. That’s what they really want you to know. Your heart knows the light and love that is you. Your heart knows the right path for you and how to tune into your guides, the Universe, the angels. Your heart knows which direction to go and what is right for you. It knows the next step for you.

How do you access this? You open your heart, that’s all you need to do. You open up now. You open your heart and you allow that joy to flow from the Universe through your body. You become the Universe, you are the Universe, and you flow with this energy. And this is the new beginning for you – this new beginning, this new cycle, this new phase comes into your life.

Yes, the ten of cups is here! Happiness, joy, total fulfilment and happily ever after. This is happily ever after comes when you open your heart. When your heart opens up and you allow all that is to flow in and you flow with all that is. You start to move in harmony and everything starts to move together and things flow and abundance flows. The right people, situations and events turn up and happen.

Everything starts to flow. Everything starts to come together. You complete one cycle and you start another.

You begin a new cycle now and everything starts to move forwards for you. Everything starts to flow for you. Joy and happiness comes in for you and positivity comes in for you.

King of Coins brings a sense of abundance at last. Maybe a significant male figure will enter your life and help you. This doesn’t have to be the case. This card is a symbol from them to you of abundance. This is solid energy, a stable energy. It’s an earthy energy – a grounded energy. Joy comes through that connection with the earth, with all that is and it comes through the symbol of the King of Coins. This is you, now, in your power. But it’s very grounded, stable, solid power. There’s a lot of red around you.

You are grounded in the base chakra energy which sets the foundation for everything else and this is how all your abundance can come through for you. You are grounded, you have learned your lessons and now you can flow and get into the next stage of abundance where abundance flows to you.

This is what we’re tapping into today – this new flow of abundance but it hasn’t only just arrived. They are asking me to tell you that this abundance has always been there and always will be there. You are not creating this through tapping into this energy – you don’t need to create the abundance – the abundance is already there. What you are actually doing is allowing this flow to come through you.

How do you do allow this flow to come through you? By grounding yourself and staying balanced – by being authentic, by being honest and also by, most importantly, opening your heart. This is the guides’ favourite topic, “Open your Heart.” Open up to the flow and listen to them. Allow them to speak to you. They speak to you through your heart, through that inner stirring, through that inner knowing that comes from the sensation deep within you. The inner knowing, intuition and heart awareness.

They are saying, “Three of Wands.” There’s so much opportunity for you on the horizon. You have no idea how much abundance is trying to come to you. It’s time to start being creative. It’s time to start being creative. It’s time to start opening up to creative projects and ideas – inspiration. We have the Eight of Wands with the Three of Wands supporting. The Eight of Wands is about inner vision and being able to move forwards and the Three of Wands is saying that now it’s your time to start listening to these inspirations and moving forwards.

Don’t worry if you can’t see lots of opportunity yet. It’s perhaps just out of your field of vision at the moment. The Three of Wands is saying that it is coming for you. Perhaps you can’t quite see it yet but it will come to you and flow to you eventually. Listen to your inner guidance and inner inspiration. You are being guided towards the next step for you.

Listen to your inner stirrings. Listen to creativity.

Start getting excited about the next step for you. The Strength card is the final card in today’s healing tarot reading meditation. I feel this very strongly for you because the eight of wands is very strong in the reading.

We have the Seven of Wands with the Chariot and the Eight of Wands with the Strength card. This is so important that their first healing meditation for you, their first tarot reading meditation for you is all about overcoming what seemed to be perceived barriers. But they’re really even there!

You can flow and fly and transcend these difficulties. The Chariot is the outer barriers, the barriers and difficulties out there in the world. The Strength card is all about the inner barriers – our fears, our worries, our inner issues, our mental chatter. The Strength card is all about overcoming our own inner limitations.

They are asking you now to consider where you have limited yourself and they have paired the Strength card with the Ace of Swords. It is time to cut ties with limitation. It’s time to cut ties with inner boundaries. You are infinite, you are light, you are bright, you can shine. You came with a set of codes, with a set of instructions. You maybe can’t feel them all the time – maybe you can’t feel them at all, but you don’t need to in your own mind. Your heart knows the way.

Your heart knows the way and your heart is always talking to the Universe and to everyone and everything around you. The Guides are saying that to really maximise this and to heal, rise up and achieve, to manifest, to move forwards in your life and achieve this Ten of Cups, this total abundance and joy – they are asking you ultimately, to find where you have placed the inner barriers. Now it is time to just let them go. They are saying to you to keep it simple, you don’t have to do anything more. This meditation will do it, if you want it to, if you believe it’s possible, if you allow it. These barriers can fall away now.

These inner limitations can fall away now. The Strength card is all about being brave. It’s about moving forwards. It’s about using your inner wisdom to balance outer action with inner awareness. It’s about being bold and going in the direction that you know is right for you. They are asking for you to know that they love you.

The Universe, the guides, the angels – all of the help from the Universe is there for you all of the time. Ask for help, allow the help to come to you and listen. Open your heart and listen as they give you the messages that you need to hear.

Maybe they are telling you these messages now. If not, it will come to you over the next day, or maybe the next couple of days. Perhaps you want to listen to this meditation regularly. They will send you messages. Tune in to that inner warmth, that core feeling at the centre of your body that feels right – the inner knowingness. They are guiding you to this now. They are saying, “Feel now.”

Shine the awareness inwards now. They are helping you to feel it now. If you can’t feel it now that’s OK as well. You are always in the right place. You are always where you need to be. All the frustrations, all the irritations – this is just mind. It’s not even your mind, it’s just human mind that you are plugging into. That’s OK as well. You are always in the right place and every moment is an opportunity to find some new and amazing next step. Or some new and amazing movement forwards.

They are guiding you and helping you. Some of you will find that they are talking to you now… You are feeling that guidance and the strong sense that, “This is the next step for me…” or “All is well!”

For some of you, the guidance is going to come over the next day or two. It might be feathers, numbers, a repeated word. It could come to you as a dream or even as a flash of inspiration when you least expect it. You will know it’s them talking to you because you’ll feel it in your heart, and it will open up your heart and you will burst with this Eight of Wands inspiration and you will feel this bold, courageous, powerful energy coming through you and you will know you are not on your own.

You will know that you are being guided and that this is the right next step for you.

Maybe it will be some big next step. Maybe it will be to take a nap. Maybe it will be just an inner awareness of your own worth and value. They want you to know before we end today’s meditation that you are love, you are light, you are perfect. You were formed perfectly by the Universe and you are light and you are love. You have so much to share just by being you.

We hope that you enjoyed today’s meditation. Transferred to you with Love! We love you so much. Have an amazing day or evening!

Call it a breakdown or an awakening, for me they were the same thing. It was hellish, scary and dark. For some people it is a sense of unrest and disruption that makes life difficult, for some it means more serious consequences which look more like a complete breakdown. Today, my scary awakening is a fairly distant memory and, whilst I don’t regret the experience, there are some things I really wish I had known. So, if you are in the midst of it all, here they are for you and don’t forget, the horrible storm will pass:

1. You’re overwhelmed, just stop.

Most of the scary symptoms and weird sensations came about because I was pushing myself to keep going when I needed to stop. ‘I can’t be tired,’ I thought. ‘I’ve hardly done anything today.’ Because of this attitude, I would force myself to keep going. So, instead of having symptoms of being tired and lethargic, I had symptoms of being tired, lethargic, panicky, light headed and breathless. Of course, if you experience such symptoms, the first thing to do is to get checked by a health professional to be sure you have no underlying physical health condition that may be causing the symptoms. Once you’ve done that, consider that awakening often causes major overwhelm which,when we push ourselves beyond our sensible limits, can cause this sort of reaction. Just stop, take a breath and allow your body to catch up with the ascension.

2. You need to stop scaring and scolding yourself

I knew I wasn’t ill and that I would come through it – deep down I absolutely knew it – but still I hounded myself and constantly questioned myself. I told myself I was pathetic, I picked on myself for being weak, I hid myself away because I was embarrassed, I worried that I would get judged and I judged myself. I needed to stop going over every symptom or behaviour telling myself stories about them. All I did was scare myself and inhibit my progress. Life would have been much easier if I’d not continued to make the situation worse by scaring and scolding myself for what was happening within me.

3. You’re just transforming

How much happier I’d have been if I’d opened my mind and heart to the possibility that the spiritual awakening I’d been hoping for all my life was indeed happening. How great would it have been if I’d accepted that I was perhaps transforming to greater things? If I had seen that I could actually come through the experience as a more evolved, happier person, I am sure I would have panicked less. The truth was I thought I would come out of it a less evolved and developed person as a result of the experience. This clearly made coping with it almost unbearable at times.

4. It’s a spiritual awakening

For ages I thought I had ‘anxiety’, unexplainable fear and perhaps some sort of mental illness. I didn’t – I was going through an awakening. I just couldn’t believe that anything so painful, extreme or gut wrenching could be a spiritual awakening. It can and, for me, it was. If you are all checked out medically and yet still feel like it is the end of the world and you don’t know why – consider the fact that it is indeed ‘just’ a spiritual awakening.

5. You should be proud of what you’re coping with and conquering

I was so very embarrassed and felt humiliated in the midst of my experience and yet I was actually showing great courage, resilience and determination. I was just evolving and transforming and, whilst it felt terrible, I was showing myself and the world my humanity, the reality of human experience and what it takes to burst from the chrysalis. The idea of ‘having everything together’, being a go getter and being free from angst and pain is just that – an image. It isn’t real; it belongs on glossy magazine pages and well cultivated social media feeds. It isn’t how anyone really is.

You may feel totally crazy, inconsistent, out of it and beaten down but you are not the exception my friend, you are indeed the norm. I felt like an absolute freak when I was awakening and the most terrifying part for me was that I was ‘losing my mind’. The reason I thought it was because, when I looked around me, other people didn’t talk about these experiences as part of life. These ‘symptoms’ were ‘the exception’ and a level of weakness and illness was implied if you exhibited any of the them. This concept put the most almighty amount of fear in me and drove me to hide it. Consider, if you feel like I did, that tons of other people feel this way too. They are just hiding it for fear of what speaking the truth will mean or the consequences it will have.

The take-away:

There is really nothing wrong with you. You’re just a human being having an evolving and awakening experience. Even though it might feel terrible at times, nothing lasts forever. Hold on to the fact that, once you do evolve, you will be a clearer, more focused and happier person. What is happening to you now is ultimately a good thing. Be patient, be kind and be open.

I hope that my 5 things I wish I’d known was helpful to you. Please get help if you need it; reach out to those who love and care for you and know that you are not a freak, an exception or broken. Life is sometimes very hard and awakening even harder at times. Be kind to yourself and follow your intuition and, as I said at the start of today’s blog, know that it will pass – it feels like it won’t, but it will. Soon enough you will not be back to normal, you will be beyond where you ever were before and that is something to hold on to and look forward to.

Love Kat xx

If you’re an empath, chances are that you have times when you just want to be able to shut it down, or at least tune it out to some degree or other. Empathic skills are a Universal given gift and can help us to help others. However, sometimes, it can be intrusive and difficult to manage. In order to stop overload, here are 5 of my top tips that certainly work for me and other empaths I know:

1. Allow nature to heal and fill you. There is a sense that other people can drain and take our energy, reserves and vitality. In order to be able to fill up quickly and efficiently, by far one of the easiest and best ways I know is to allow nature to do it for you. She can’t help it; it’s in her very essence! I find trees particularly willing to offer their energy but any nature will surely do this.

2. Stop talking and communication. I think this type of empathic leaking was something that I took a long time to realise was happening. Granted, sometimes we only need to be around someone to find them ‘borrowing’ our energy or heaping their bad energies into our space but, often times, it is stimulated or brought on through conversation. It is through connecting physically, and/or verbally, with another that we inadvertently plug in to them (or them to us). So taking ‘talking breaks’ is a very good cure for empathic overload.

3. Learn to maintain a good inner landscape and keep your communication loving but ‘bourndaried’. We can be loving, kind and polite to others without always having to get into deep or connecting conversation with them. Sometimes, if we are in our zone and shining our light, we can do more for our own well being and others by staying in our zone and not allowing ourselves to get drawn into others’ dramas.

4. Recognise it isn’t your own issue. One thing that took me a long time to realise was that the pains, fears or troubles I was experiencing weren’t always mine. Most empaths recognise and acknowledge to some extent that it isn’t our issue or pain but, as it enters our bodies and minds, we begin to identify with it and take it on. Allow yourself to stand back from it and watch it; see that it doesn’t belong to you. You can feel it but it isn’t actually coming from you.

5. Combat the negativity with positivity. It can be difficult, when a heavy energy comes, to lift it out of our space. Whilst it can take a lot of initial energy to get the heavy pain to move, once you have got underneath it, so to speak, you should find that you will be able to shift it with the light of creativity and joy. By following step 4 and separating from it, you should be able to get enough distance to employ a joyful experience that gets your loving energy flowing again.

Whatever drama finds its way into your energy, if you feel the overload, remember that the lightness of your knowingness and joy will always be able to combat the darkness and heaviness. Good health and habits that create a strong and vital body and energy field will also help tremendously. Remember that, as much as you may want to help others and reach out to those who are in pain and sadness, there is only so much you can do and you must take care of you too. Don’t be afraid to make a boundary. Acknowledge what you can and cannot withstand and don’t go beyond your own healthy limit.

Love Kat xx

(Written pre pandemic!) I’ve meditated for years… literally, years. I can’t really remember when I was I started consciously doing so but I remember perhaps my first significant experience of it at 24. I had a particularly spiritual and ‘hippie’ boyfriend at the time who had spent the afternoon talking to me about his experiences of astral travel. When he left, I distinctly remember sitting down in the middle of my sitting room floor and deciding to have a try at ‘going within’. It seemed intriguing. Whilst the relationship was really the romantic equivalent of car crash, it did introduce me to spirituality and so it was definitely worth the heartache and big financial dent. In fact, his tough love training – in every sense of the phrase – was priceless and really rather wonderful on reflection.

I have had a sketchy history with meditation and I’ve never managed to get a solid relationship with it. Going back fifteen years ago, whilst it was mainstream and popular, it was nothing like it is now. I guess this is partly why I managed to keep avoiding it. Recently, everywhere and everyone seems to be espousing the virtues of meditation and with good reason. Whether you are spiritual or not, the results of meditation and its benefits are undeniable. It’s quite amazing really how quickly it’s transformed from the ‘woo-woo’ to the ‘real deal’. In fact, I was really surprised when my Granny had a stroke last year to hear her being ‘prescribed’, by her national health service occupational therapy team, a meditation app for her Ipad. It really is now the thing to do.

Leaning on meditation when I was ill several years ago, I spent most mornings meditating for a couple of hours in bed before I got up. I can’t really remember the details of anything back then but it was more like a brain break. I was attempting to just keep the mental noise to a minimum and create a bit of peace and quiet. But I never really settled on a particular practice or way of doing it. Although I did have some incredible breakthroughs with it and even created some of my own which I put into my books. Ever since then I have done bits and pieces of meditation and it’s rare a day goes by without me doing some sort of ‘going within’ but it’s never been consistent or really focused. I’ve let it slide over the years because of the ‘busyness’ of life.

I suppose I’ve always been more of a mindfulness person. I do lots of things very ‘deliberately’ and try to not get lost in thought any more than is necessary. I make a point of being very present as often as I can and spent months pounding my eardrums with Eckhart Tolle recordings so as to really imprint this notion into my head. It worked. I’ve worked it into my day and it’s now my habit. My showers are pretty mindful as are my daily dog walks. I regularly do breathing exercises now without really even thinking about it. I’m really quite centred but it’s still a work in progress and I’m starting to really think about getting my meditation routine more ‘sorted’.

But I have to be honest with myself now. I have been more caught up in the western world than I realised. I don’t make time for meditation because I suppose I don’t think I have time. This is such a fundamental misperception. I subconsciously believe that I can make things happen, that I need to do a lot of stuff and make the most of ‘time’. Wow, I still believe in making an effort? If I made time for meditation, I’d become timeless, didn’t I know that? Well, I did and I do. It seems there are levels of belief and commitment. On a scale of 1 to 10, I was perhaps at six or seven. I’d got lazy, sloppy and I am also realising that I’m perhaps more compliant and open to the environmental cues than I had previously thought. Oh well, at least I can see it now.

At the moment, I’m staying on the island of Tenerife and as you may or may not know, it’s a part of a pretty ‘zen’ kind of an archipelago. The Canary Islands are very relaxed and, in my opinion, have a very surfer, hippie kind of vibe. There are beaten up camper vans all over the place and in ‘El Medano’ the town I stay in on Tenerife, every clothes shop sells either surfing or water sports gear or yoga pants. It’s a no makeup, sand in your hair, piercings and leather bracelets kind of a place. Taking a walk along the beach during sunrise, you’ll find lots of people meditating or doing yoga on the various wooden platforms scattered amongst the scrubby dunes.

In the bigger towns and cities you’ll find lots of yoga and meditation studios and I didn’t have to research very far to find that there are quite a lot of retreat centres on the Canary Islands too. There’s just that kind of vibe here and so it’s a perfect place to be considering my meditation routine. I’ve been reading Dr Joe Dispenza’s book ‘Becoming Supernatural’ (it’s awesome, read it!) and he has gotten me convinced that I do indeed need to get my meditation game on. It’s time for me and this book is pushing me into it. Truth is 1. I’ve always known the key to my next steps on this crazy life journey involve meditation and 2. It’s a pretty amazing synchronicity that has dictated that just at the time I decide I need to be meditating, I arrive at a place so brimming with the chilled out vibe.

This is the thing about travel. Different places inspire different aspects of your personality, heart and soul. I love this about going somewhere new. You never quite know what you’re going to get. Perhaps you’ll love it, perhaps you’ll find it inspiring. Whatever you feel or think, it’ll be a perspective and a new angle on something. It’s the sense of ‘peering into the looking glass’ like Alice (in Wonderland). If you choose to be open to this kind of reflection that is. I have always found the Canary Islands to be great for a genuine relaxed space to rearrange your head and get some perspective on life. They’re so free, rugged, bare and windy. Your cares will definitely blow away and trying to stay ‘tidy’ and ‘together’ is simply pitting yourself against nature. You really have no choice here but to just relax and go with it, to appreciate the nature and the wildness of it all and, if you have long hair, tie it up.

So for me, this return has been serendipitous. I had booked the trip some time ago before I started reading Joe Dispenza’s book and I had no idea, even as I started to read the book a few days before arriving in Tenerife that it would be so focused on meditation. Today was my first full day here on the island and it made me smile as I lay on the sunbed for my first focused hour long meditation of the day. It was so perfect that I’d be doing it here in El Medano. Anyone who has read my first book, ‘The Awakening’ may recall that this is the very place I had my first real breakthrough and ‘found myself’. It seems so fitting that I am here again, trying to take things to the next level. It is equally fitting that I am in a place where I have the time and space to meditate and dedicate myself to the process and practice.

So, I am intrigued to know how it will go and if and how it will change me. Everything says that it will. As I said, I’m not new to meditation but I am new to focused and diligent practice. I am new to dedicated and long, focused sessions that push you into uncomfortability. But I’m ready for it. To be quite honest, I have some really rather annoying foibles and neurocies that are just not cute and need to be tidied up. Whilst I recognise that I’m never going to be a spiritual guru or whatever, I really think I could stand to be more peaceful. I’m looking forward to finding out where it takes me. It’s interesting to me how my desire to really focus on meditation seems to be dovetailing with my increasing sense of freedom and expansion into full time travel. They really do seem to go together.

As for Tenerife, I can’t think of a better place to meditate. It’s unpretentious and has lots of wild and natural, craggy beaches and places to walk, sit, surrender and take a breath. The pace of life here is slow and deliberate. The attitude is warm, relaxed and passionate. With sunny days all year around and a pretty consistent mid twenties temperature, it’s got to be a perfect place to get in touch with your heart and soul.

I visit ‘El Medano’ which is a small town fairly near the more popular and anglicised ‘Golf de Sur’ only a short hop from Tenerife South airport. It’s not a commercial town and whilst everyone speaks some English, it’s not a really touristy place or catering to English. It’s low key and seems to be predominately frequented by locals and windsurfers or kite surfers. Whilst I talk a lot about how rugged, authentic, natural and Spanish the Canary Islands are, this is because I choose to frequent the less popular areas and the non touristy spots. Many areas are extremely English and rather like Skegness but with better weather. Be sure that you do a little research on the area before booking to ensure you are getting the holiday you really want.

Love Kat xx

Written in August 2019. It was day 11 (or 12 depending on which way you looked at it) of ‘The Great American Crossing’ with ATI and we were going to Yellowstone National Park. It was right in the thick of the tour. We had been on the bus for well over a week. By day 11 we were totally comfortable. We felt familiar and at ease with Maiko, our guide, and our driver Gary. The other people on the tour were quite nice and we had a gentle, pleasantry level of interaction. Whilst it was a bit disappointing on the social front – we had had much better social times on our previous American tour – it did mean we were free to get on with it uninterrupted.

The previous night we had stayed in Cody. I just loved it there. It felt so very American – whatever that might mean (unpack as desired). I don’t know, there was a relaxed, warm and familial attitude from the people of the town. According to Cody’s official website, it is a “full Wild West experience”, and was recently ranked as Wyoming’s most beautiful small town by MSN loveEXPLORING.With it’s big main road surrounded by mountains, it reminded me of my vision of how America might be before I’d ever embarked on the journey ‘across the pond’. Anyway, we stayed in Cody and I was really in the mood for a full on sensory experience when visiting Yellowstone the following day.

It did not disappoint. On the way to the park we were given a safety poster to read ( see picture).

It was rather exciting to even contemplate the idea of seeing a bear. Of course we didn’t. In fact we saw relatively little in the way of animal life. There was a coyote on the edge of the park and we saw a few bison at a distance. We may have seen a mule deer here too, I can’t remember if it was at Yellowstone. It didn’t matter as there was just so much natural wonder to look and marvel at.

To an American, what I’m about to say will be obvious, but to a European there is something that, should you decide to visit, will astound you. The park is huge. Everything is just super sized here and Yellowstone is no different. At nearly 9,000 square kilometres, it’s big. We were only there for one day and so we only visited the ‘southern loop’. The roads around the park are so well maintained and it’s very accessible with walkways, basic restrooms and at least one car park around all the main attractions within the park.

The speed limit is 45pmh along the single carriageway road around the park. With limited places to stop at the edge of the road, we encountered a couple of jams where people had obstructed the road in order to get out and traipse across varying terrains to try and get closer to distant bison. Our guide, apparently an old hand at navigating the park, shook his head and muttered about how the tourists didn’t realise how far away the bison were.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6FnkweHC40

As we entered the park, our guide collected enough maps for all of us. This way, we were able to see exactly where we were going. You can collect one of these maps on payment and entrance to each national park. They really are informative and a great momento for remembering and thinking about the experience on the return home.

We visited several of the most famous parts of the park and a few that I didn’t even know existed until the visit. The Yellowstone falls are just incredible and the viewing points are awe inspiring since you feel so very high up. The geysers and various hot springs were interesting and beautiful. The colours were so rich but the smell of sulphur was enough to make you wretch. I have a pretty strong stomach but a sensitive sense of smell. I’ve got to say that it got to me after a while!

It was a funny experience at Yellowstone. In a way it’s one of the most wild and stunningly vast natural experiences of my life but in another way, it was so over-humanised. With roads, signs, road signs, walkways and car parks it seemed like somehow the landscape had been invaded. I was glad to be there and see it and yet sad for the land and her natural beauty. It was as if it was being controlled, dressed up and forced to perform like some sort of horrible circus act. I suppose I was a willing voyeur.

I loved the vast lake and the eerie Bobby Sock trees. The sheer amount of beauty is quite incredible and we only saw a tiny bit of it. This is one of the reasons I loved being on the tour. Whilst the map was incredible, had I been driving myself around the park, a lot of my attention would have been taken up with thinking about where I was and where I was trying to get to. There was none of that on the tour. Maiko, our guide, made sure we saw a lot of the highlights and gave us just the right amount of time to see each feature. He gave us instructions on where to go what to look out for. We couldn’t go wrong.

Lunch time was spent at a visitor centre where there were several options of things to eat and buy. Again, unlike in a European tourist site I was used to, the visitor centre was huge. The food was not over priced and pretty good quality. As always, there were a lot of good bathroom facilities at the centres and they were very clean. Our afternoon coffee stop was at ‘Old Faithful’ – incorporating a rest stop, coffee break and a chance to see the notorious and predictable eruption of the geyser. Again, with places to sit and view the eruption and a centre for purchasing souvenirs and refreshments, the whole place was organised perfectly. It was contrived in a way but so convenient in another. I loved it and felt strange about it at the same time.

Overall, I could not recommend a visit to Yellowstone National Park enough. It is one of the best and most spectacular places I have ever seen. It has such variety and it’s incredible to see what nature can do. With so much information and so many amenities, it’s an easy and tourist friendly place to spend several days. Whilst I think you can see many of the main attractions in one day, I wish I’d had longer there to really appreciate this stunning park.

If you have low confidence, the chances are you have an idea of a certain standard that you’re not meeting. On some level, you think that you’re not cutting it – you’re not good enough. This could have been learned from somewhere else or perhaps you just came up with it yourself.

Have you tried to make changes but they haven’t worked? Are you still doubting yourself and worrying what everyone else is thinking about your last social media post or the outfit you wore to work today? You are not alone. This is the norm. It was my reality too. But I changed it and I believe that you can too.

Choosing new thoughts

The good news is that everything that you’ve thought or felt before is already over and in the past. It’s gone. Finished with. You have a clean slate as of now!

Most of us overestimate the power that the past has over us. In truth, you can change your life from today by starting to tell a different story. How do you do this? By focusing on how things are now and where you are planning on going next instead of revisiting the past. You get to choose your thoughts, ideas and everything in your life.

I’m here to tell you that you are good enough and everything is unfolding perfectly…sound too good to be true? It isn’t. If this sounds off to you, that’s not unusual. The idea that we have lots of things to fix in ourselves and the world before we can be happy is the conventional opinion that most people hold (albeit perhaps not consciously). That’s OK, but you don’t have to do it any more.

https://youtu.be/EvAda7l1oKA

Let’s look at an example. If you think you’re too fat, too old, not pretty enough etc… so what? I’ve met plenty of confident fat people and fearful thin people. It’s no crime to be fat after all. However, you may have an idea that it is somehow bad or wrong. This is the same with all the other reasons you may have for why you lack confidence. Whatever it is you feel you lack, I’m here to tell you there are plenty of people out there with just your issue – perhaps even worse – who are full of confidence.

The point I’m trying to make is that your ideas about what is good and bad about you are just that, ideas! Whether they are ideas that were handed to you by society, your family or if you came up with them yourself, they are still just ideas. They are perceptions.

Understanding truth and belief

The point to really take on board is that your ideas and thoughts about yourself are just that – thoughts and ideas. They aren’t the truth. We have so many examples to draw on of human error regarding beliefs. We thought the earth was flat but it wasn’t true and we thought cigarettes were good for us at one time. You can see the same error in your own life. Things you thought were impossible when you were 5 are now natural to you and things you believed back then, you no longer believe. Really register the fact that a lot of your thoughts and beliefs aren’t true.

“Beliefs are not truths”

Watch out for hidden beliefs masquerading as truths and getting away with it because most people believe them. You may have an idea you hold as true but, on closer inspection, you find it’s still only a belief. Many ideas we hold about ourselves and life are rooted in convention but it doesn’t necessarily make these conventions true. If you take a look now, you will find that almost everything you think to be true is just a belief. It is crucial you notice this if you want to make a serious change to your confidence.

The old way of dealing with low confidence and why you’re still feeling less than fierce!

Very often, when we read or think about improving our confidence, we do superficial things to temporarily boost our confidence. Perhaps we may make ourselves look nice or buy a new item, but what we’re doing if we only use this method is actually feeding the problem in the long term. Why? Because we are purely pandering to our belief that we’re not enough as we are, rather than changing our belief at the source. Maybe we are telling ourselves we’re wonderful via affirmations or notes on the mirror. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is great to do it, but if you have a core belief that goes against the affirmation, it is going to be difficult to convince yourself permanently.

The old ways of dealing with low confidence are only effective if we use them in tandem with changing our old beliefs about ourselves at the root. We have to notice where we are getting these ideas about ourselves from. Once we know, we can start changing or challenging them.

The 4 the main ways people who lack confidence tend to sabotage their own ability to shine…

(You may do one or all of these, if you lack confidence)

You judge others – It’s sometimes hard to see the way you judge yourself. However, it’s easy to notice how you constantly label and judge everyone and everything around you. Our mind chats away constantly as we pigeonhole people straight away and make our constant comparisons – ranking ourselves in relation to everyone and everything around us. Take notice next time you walk down the street, notice how your mind does this.

But what if we started to see everyone just as human beings and as equal? Instead of the constant ranking of less than or more than, we just see people. It’s liberating and life changing. If you let other people off the hook, it’s easier to let yourself off too. As you stop constantly judging, categorising and labelling everything, you’ll change your habit. As you judge others less and are more compassionate in general, you’ll find you start feeling this way towards yourself too. If you drop categorisation, it means you no longer have to judge and categorise yourself either.

You believe the media – Perhaps you look at media, magazines or on social media. Wherever it is you are looking at, you are maybe buying into the hype and forgetting that it isn’t real. We all know it isn’t real if we step back and think about it. But do you? Do you step back?

What you see online or in print is far from realistic. Even though you know this, it can be easy to get sucked back in. It’s sneaky like that. The shiny, filtered media is everywhere we look and the content is often misleading, especially when people post content that claims to be an ‘every day’ image but is far from it. We have to be very strict with how we consume content, remembering that most of it isn’t real. Period.

If you unconsciously take too much notice of the media, you can easily be left thinking that everyone else is doing better than you. It’s not true. We all have ups and downs, highs and lows. The people in mansions are no different, they’re just doing it in a mansion! Enjoy the media – it’s beautiful, glamorous and perhaps inspiring in context. But, remember – it is advertising. Everything you see has been filtered. It’s not reality. It’s virtual reality.

You think you should have “made it” by now – The good news is that this feeling that you’re never really making it will rapidly diminish when you start to become more conscious of what you are thinking and believing. We are very conditioned by the consumer culture but only until we realise what it happening.

If you are here reading this, perhaps you are already having an awareness of what is going on and perhaps you’ll choose another way. This doesn’t mean we have to give up all our old ways or every aspect of our consumer lifestyle (that’s always your choice). All it means is that we don’t have to let it control us any more. We choose how much and when. We know it isn’t the whole story and we get more peace just from knowing that we actually don’t need to ‘make it’ because we are already there. We are all just humans, learning and experiencing. We come here with nothing and leave with nothing.

If you feel like you haven’t achieved enough or got where you wanted to be by now, the simple answer to this is – you and every one else! Most people feel like they haven’t achieved enough. It isn’t true, but society would have us believe it as it keeps us buying and consuming! Our minds go along with it because we follow the flock, it’s what everyone else does and so we do it too.

Another thing to consider, when it comes to feeling like you are ‘not making it’, is that our minds are naturally never satisfied – have you ever noticed that? The mind is always on to the next thing. If you do get what you want, the satisfaction only ever lasts a short time. Noticing this habit is a great help in starting to assist you in feeling better about your life and therefore boosting your confidence. It’s helpful to remember that, whilst your mind may be always pointing out all of things you’ve done wrong or opportunities you’ve missed, you can never choose every option in life anyway. Whatever path you’ve chosen, you’ve always technically missed out somewhere else anyway. No option would give you a sense of having it all because to ‘do it all’ or ‘have it all’ is impossible.

Remember that even though you maybe had ideas about what you wanted your life to look like (that’s normal human behaviour), life rarely does what we expect it to. “Making it” is a fearful standard, born out of a struggling thought, that we can just let go of. It’s a mixture of external pressure, consumerist culture bombarding us and our unchecked thoughts and emotions running out of control. Once we know what’s happening, we can notice. As we become aware, the picture starts to shift.

You don’t feel passionate in life– Are you doing what you want? If you do what you love, you naturally often ‘run away’ with it before you get chance to second guess and stop yourself. This is what pure unfiltered confidence looks and feels like. If you have no joy in your life and have limited chances for self expression, this can leave you feeling really low and flat. It can make you feel lifeless which, in turn, affects your confidence.

Real confidence is born out of love and light. It’s a positive energy that springs forwards in you and wants to come out into the world. The easiest way to tap into that confidence and light is to do what you really enjoy. If you can do what you feel passionate about, even if you only do this for a short time each week, it will make a difference to your confidence levels.

Turning our confidence sabotaging behaviours around

We’ve identified our thoughts, beliefs and behaviours might be faulty. But what can we do to turn them around? Honestly? As you see where you are unconsciously believing your reactive thoughts or going along with society’s ideas, you will automatically become more confident and aware. But there are plenty of things you can do to amplify this and speed up the process of becoming more confident.

The 5 Steps to finding more confidence:

There’s one simple solution to every problem you’ve ever had or ever will have – open your heart – this is all you need to do. This is the solution to everything. But how do we actually do it?

Here are the things that work quickly and effectively for opening your heart when it comes to confidence boosting:

Keep a gratitude journal Take a few minutes morning and night to list three things you’re grateful for. It can be on a scrap of paper or in a proper diary or journal. It doesn’t matter how you do it, so long as you write it down. It appears that writing it down, rather than just thinking it, solidifies the thought and amplifies it. It’s also a wonderful record to look back over. Try not to make it last more than a couple of minutes at either end of the day though. Why? Because if it’s too lengthy a process, you perhaps won’t keep it up. Keep it achievable, simple and consistent.

Limit your social media intake or other media to stop the inevitable comparison and to keep it in proportion to your life. Set a timer for a certain time slot allocation per day or delete certain apps from your phone. What about if you need to engage on social media for work? Then, for example, make yourself a rule that you only scroll at your desk, not when you’re sat at the dinner table or on the sofa supposedly relaxing! You get to make the rules as to how much and when you consume, just be conscious about it. Make a well thought through choice as to when you’re looking and what you’re looking at. Delete follows that bring you down or buy into a fearful or low vibe mindset and follow people and websites that talk in ways that make you feel more empowered.

Spend more time doing what you want and building your happiness When you are in a state of open heartedness you’re happy. You fall in love with life and yourself when you are doing what brings you joy. It’s the quickest and easiest way to bypass all the old pain, baggage and nonsense that we encounter daily in the world. We’ve all likely experienced this in our lives at some point – that feeling of being like a small child again, totally absorbed and joyful in our activity. Try to introduce or increase this in your life as much as possible.

https://youtu.be/EvAda7l1oKA

Don’t fixate on whether you’re any good at it or not. If you love it: learn, take a course, get assistance or practise. Everything we do is infused with the energy in which it was created, therefore anything made from a state of joy and happiness will, in its own way, contain a special and high vibe energy. Whether you do this as a career or a hobby doesn’t matter, so long as you are doing it on a daily or weekly basis and prioritising it as a must in your life.

Notice when you start to feel low in confidence and ask yourself this question: What am I thinking and believing that’s making me feel unconfident? There may be a situation or event happening, or perhaps you’re just sat quietly alone. Whether someone has said something horrible to you, you saw a post on social media or you thought of something that brought you down, it’s not the actual event that’s making you feel lacking, it’s your thoughts about it. As you question your thoughts and notice that they’re just thoughts that aren’t necessarily true, you can start to let things go and change your reactions to things that used to make you doubt yourself.

Focus on your qualities and the people whom you love and who love you Reframe and refocus. We all doubt ourselves from time to time. It’s not that confident people think they’re perfect, in fact they don’t and that’s the very reason why they’re confident! They know they’re not perfect and they’re OK with that. They are willing to be themselves and don’t hide their so called weaknesses. What confident people do well is focus on their good qualities and skills. They’re comfortable with the whole picture and know they’re no better or worse human being than anyone else. So, if you lack confidence, try to emulate this. Accept you fears or concerns, feel them and refocus towards things that remind you who and what you really are and all of those people who see these qualities in you too.

Takeaway –

You have ideas about yourself that are making you lack confidence.

They are just thoughts and thoughts can be changed.

It’s not always easy but it is simple. With dedication and patience, you can make a new habit to help you change. Just like going to the gym will build muscle, doing new things in your life will change your confidence muscle. YOU don’t need to change to have confidence, although you will (we’re always changing). What does need to change are a few of your HABITS, that’s all!

Required changes summarised:

Stop self criticism and criticism of others, stop believing that the shiny media representation of life is real for anyone, and enjoy the moment of life you’re in now. Retrain yourself to see yourself and the world more positively. Don’t expect everything to change over night and be patient as you change the way you look at yourself and the world.

Following through:

If you want to change you need to put things in place, but don’t think that it is going to be extremely hard. It isn’t. Small changes – like keeping a gratitude journal and spending an hour a week doing what you love – will make a whole lot of change over the space of a few weeks. If you haven’t changed your confidence level yet it’s most likely not because doing so is difficult, but rather that you haven’t consistently applied the simple changes.

Most people do a lot of things for a few days and then quite simply go back to their old habits, not keeping up the changes. They get distracted by all their daily tasks and then before they know it, months have passed.

Make a promise to you:

Be the exception to the rule and know that you can and will change to becoming a more confident person. As you make the small changes consistently to your everyday life, your confidence will sky rocket, as it does so too will your potential to reach your dreams.

Love Kat x

Tamaran meaning ‘Land of the Brave’, now known as Gran Canaria, is a sweet and laid back Spanish island situated off the Atlantic coast of North West Africa. It is the third largest island of the archipelago in both area and altitude and the third most populated of all Spanish Islands with a population of around 850,000.

The North African Canarii quite possibly arrived on the island as early as 500BC and, after a century of European incursions and attempts at conquest, the island was conquered on April 29th, 1483 by the Crown of Castile, under Queen Isabella. The capital was founded on June, 1478, under the name ‘Real de Las Palmas’. Las Palmas, as the capital is now known, is the joint capital of the autonomous community of the Canary Islands along with Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

In 1492 Christopher Columbus is known to have anchored in the Port of Las Palmas and he wasn’t the only famous visitor. Sir Francis Drake and John Hawkins apparently tried to take Las Palmas in 1595 as well as a Dutch fleet who reportedly created havoc in the city burning many of its buildings to the ground. Gran Canaria, and Las Palmas in particular, has a wonderful history and this can all be experienced today in a visit to the older part of the city.

The rich history and beautiful architecture of the old town of ‘Vegueta’ and the area of Triana has been wonderfully preserved and can be appreciated by taking an historic walking tour of this old part of the city. I chose to ‘go it alone’ and just wander the streets armed with a list of landmarks I’d found through an evening of research the night before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2tEvEI5KLs

If you are thinking of visiting the older parts of Las Palmas, I would highly recommend firstly calling in at one of the Tourist Information offices for a free map of all of the most popular landmarks and finding out about free tours of some of the most interesting and historic buildings. I went in and had a lovely chat with Aurora at the smaller office inside the Teatro Perez Galdos. She not only helped me with information about the historic area but the whole city. You will find the main tourist information offices at Santa Catelina Park and San Telmo but there are many smaller offices dotted all over the city. They are very well marked on google maps and have visible signage you can easily spot when wandering about. The employees speak great English and couldn’t be more helpful.

Getting the map will prevent you from missing any of significant spots as well as giving you a sensible and walk-able route through this meandering part of the city. The roads and lanes are largely cobbled and pedestrianised and you could easily spend at least half a day wandering around, soaking in the rich history. As I mentioned before, it is possible to join a walking tour of the old city.

In actual fact, if you buy a twenty five euro ‘hop on, hop off’ bus ticket of Las Palmas, a walking tour of the old part of the city is included in the price. If I’d known this before, I’d definitely have done it as I think this would have saved a lot of time and helped me to see and appreciate more. Although, getting on the bus with the locals is always great too.

I’d highly recommend spending at least half a day in the historic part of the city. If you want to be organised and squeeze as much in as possible, consider taking a walking tour. Make time to go inside and appreciate the magnificent Cathedral Santa Ana and consider a tour of one or more of the other historic buildings. Obviously, it’s uneven underfoot so sensible footwear is a must but don’t worry about getting hungry or thirsty as there are countless bars and eateries offering stunning tapas and perhaps a glass of wine or two. As well as places to eat and drink there are numerous small shops and even plenty of little supermarkets so you’ll have no problems getting everything you might need during your visit.

Whilst there are plenty of quaint places to sit and rest your feet for a while should you want a ‘free’ stop during your adventure, as ever in Europe, the lack of public toilets is evident. I walked around all morning and didn’t see one. However, there are bathrooms in the modern art gallery which has free entry and of course you can always go into one of the many local bars so long as you are buying a drink or so.

In terms of getting to this historic part of the city of Las Palmas, it really couldn’t be easier. If you are staying outside of the city, you want to be catching a bus to San Telmo bus terminus in Las Palmas City. It’s a massive bus depot so you’ll have no issues getting to the area. The historic part of the city is right next to the bus station. The tourist information is also right there and this will get you all sorted for a fun packed day. I travelled from Playa Las Canteras/ Las Palmas Port area and the buses leave every few minutes from Santa Catelina Park.

I caught the number 12 which takes about 15 minutes (6 stops). It’s a very busy ‘bendy’ bus with standing room only all of the way. Apparently there are other buses such as the number 1 that also go to San Telmo but all of the others take around half an hour as far as I could see. There is a ticket office at Santa Catelina Park should you need help. But to be honest it’s really easy. A single journey is one euro forty (they do give change) and the drivers are very helpful.

So, if you do go to Las Palmas, make the time to go and explore this quaint and beautiful part of the island. It’s well worth it and largely free too, which is a bonus if you’re on a budget. With bars, shops and facilities to cater to every budget, you can’t really afford to miss it.

I want to start this with an obvious disclaimer. I am not a therapist or a trained professional in the area of trauma or anything else for that matter. So, what are my credentials? I have a masters degree in the philosophy of mind, I am an empathic intuitive and have done hundreds of readings around the topic of trauma and dealing with trauma and heartache, but perhaps most importantly I get what it’s like to have mental health issues and or to have a nervous collapse or breakdown. I have a lot of experience of living with these issues myself and having loved ones with these issues. SO there – that’s my experience and expertise.

I listen to Thomas Hall’s subliminal messaging tracks every night:

I AM NOT AN EXPERT and obviously, if you are experiencing any mental or physical health concerns, you should absolutely visit your doctor or consult a trained professional. HOWEVER, that is not to say that I don’t want to help you or that I can’t…. just please see me as a friend not a therapist. OK, now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to it.

“It’s very complex and will take a lot of working on, perhaps it will never go entirely but we can work on making it more manageable.”

This is a paraphrased quote that I have heard fly from the mouths of three separate therapists regarding me and my mental health. They all said it in a slightly different ways but it was roughly the same idea – they told me it would take a long time and it would be complicated… EFT training said, keep tapping until all your issues are cleaned up. I was like “Hello, I’ll never do anything else!” when I heard that.

BUT IT ISN’T TRUE AND I AM HERE TO SOMEWHAT DEBUNK THE MYTH THAT IT NEEDS TO BE HARD…

I can only tell you about my experience here and perhaps it will be different for you but, since we are remarkably similar, perhaps you might consider that some of my experience might correlate to your world and your life too.

I want to debunk the myth that all so called trauma and difficulty is some sort of endless painful drag that leaves you blighted for all of eternity. Now, I’m sticking my neck out here and I will get a lot of criticism I am sure, but I really don’t care. To be honest, I wish I’d read this when I was grappling with my breakdowns and I want to pass this well kept secret along.

Michael Sealey’s meditations are the best:

I do not dispute or doubt that lots of trauma benefits from mental health intervention both pharmaceutical and therapy wise. I have had both myself and I have benefited from both. However, I also want to tell you that I have also benefited from sometimes seeing past the idea that I have unresolved trauma that cannot be easily healed and dealt with. I live to tell the tale that it can and how it can.

I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t have medical intervention for mental health problems or that what I’m suggesting is an alternative. I am suggesting that there are many extra things you can do and try that might shift a lot of the so called unresolved issues regarding trauma you may be having.

To start with I want to talk to you about secondary pain… Let me explain. I think I came up with this term to label the mental chatter and thoughts we have about things that go wrong in our lives.

An example: we fall over and hurt our knee. The primary pain is the painful knee, the secondary pain is the shame of people seeing us fall, the irritation that we are so clumsy, the fear that it might get infected and the replaying of all of it in our heads with this sort of unhelpful commentary. Secondary pain is not necessary and doesn’t actually come from the initial problem we might be having, it comes from our thoughts and beliefs ABOUT the thing that has happened. So, someone breaks up with us… we feel the primary pain of loss and sadness but then we have the secondary pain of all the internal chat – what should I have done differently, why did it happen, shame, guilt and lots of story.

Don’t get me wrong, emotional loss and injury is more difficult to differentiate between primary and secondary pain than it is with physical injury but it doesn’t need to be a precise science. All I really want you to see is that in every case when we experience any sort of trauma we have the initial trauma and then we have secondary trauma which is self induced by our thoughts about the primary trauma.

If we could stop secondary trauma, that may get rid of a lot of your problems instantly. Now, that could be easier said than done but recognising what’s going on and starting to jump in and interrupt your own thoughts is going to be super helpful when it comes to moving past trauma and getting over it. How to stop your thoughts and the chat in your head is a massive area and something that people such as Michael Singer with The Untethered Soul and Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now, have spent their whole careers talk about. I can’t go into this in detail here and they can do it so much better than I can anyway, what I do want you to see is that the voice inside, that chats in a fearful and negative way, is one of your biggest obstacles to letting it go.

You may feel worried about this voice but you are not alone. Everyone has this inner critic or fear monger who chats incessantly… it’s not really even your mind but just ‘mind’ that you are plugging into. Have you ever said, “I’m so fed up with myself!” If you have you can see the fact that there is the real you watching the other you who you are fed up with… the you who is always watching is the real you. The one who is full of drama is not really you but your personality and mental noise… I don’t have the time or space to say much more about it here but I urge you to check out Eckhart Tolle’s YouTube channel and start learning about how the voice in our heads is perhaps our biggest barrier to moving past trauma. See the link below…

The thing to see is that our minds don’t always tell the truth, pay attention – it talks negatively all of the time, makes things up, jumps to conclusions and warns you constantly about things that almost never happen… It is not a reliable source of information and generally makes us quite unsettled at best. It is this voice that is creating all of that secondary pain. The reasons why it does this?? We cant get into it here. It’s too long an answer, but just see that it is not to be trusted or listened to without question…

Most of the time our minds are telling us about something that has already happened or that we are worried may happen. But our bodies don’t know the difference between an imagined event and a real one. Every time we allow our minds to run into the past or the future to some sort of horrible event, we are literally repeating our trauma. I do agree that when you have experienced something terrible there is plenty of evidence that it needs to be heard, processed and sometimes actions need to be taken. That is a given. But what happens when, like me, you have talked about it, had the therapy done the tapping and the meditations and it;s still as annoying as heck and hasn’t gone?

Here’s what I did…

When you head chirps up with some fearful thoughts ask yourself the following things:

1. Is it true? Sometimes the mind lies…

2. Is it happening now? It usually isn’t… we’re nearly always lamenting over the past or a potential future.

3. Am I being seduced by my mind? Are you being convinced by your mind’s thoughts about your thoughts… WHAT?????? I know that sounds complicated, please stay with me.You have a thought, ‘I am scared,’ then you have more thoughts about being scared such as, ‘You see, you’ll never get over it, you’ve been scared for so long now, it’s just the way you are,’ etc. Your mind can play MANY ROLES AT ONE TIME.

Listen again…

 

YOUR MIND CAN AND DOES PLAY MANY ROLES AT ONE TIME

It can convince you that one of the more sensible voices is the real you… but notice carefully, your true self is just back there watching the circus unfold.

 

WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?…

Stop thinking

OK, we can’t do that.. also, we don’t want to. We still need to think about what time to go and pick the kids up or change the filter or catch the plane. BUT we don’t need to think all of the time or follow and believe every thought.

Solutions are as follows:

Don’t believe your fearful thoughts When something comes up, check if it’s true or needs your attention, once you’ve established it doesn’t let it go and every time it comes up just watch the thought and accept it … perhaps it will go, perhaps it won’t but whatever, you’re not believing it.

Take notice of the here and now When the traumatised thoughts come up, remember that you are respecting them but not getting into it any more. Allow them to be there if they want to be there but focus on the here and now with them in the back ground

Don’t be scared of being scared Once you can say that you accept feeling in pain, it becomes less painful. Running, pushing against and being upset about being upset is often making up more of the trauma than you realise.

Stop thinking that having pains or problems makes you broken It doesn’t it makes you just like me and everyone else. There is no hero and victim just people. We are all the same. We have dark and light and up times and down times. There is no rescuer on a white horse because no one is perfect and infalible. This may disappoint your mind but it will not sadden your spirit. You have no reason to feel ashamed or to be bitter.You may feel broken but you are not. Feeling broken and being broken are very different things. Notice how the real you watching all of it going on isn’t broken or even feeling broken, that part of you just ‘is’.

Spend a lot of time doing what you want to do or focusing on what you are doing Get fully immersed in living in the here and now. Focus on the present moment, keep busy but not so busy you’re just running. When you have free time, fill it with things that make you laugh and smile

Keep a gratitude journal Spend 5 minutes a day writing in it.

If you still feel traumatised and can’t get over it consider the possibility that you have a bad habit going and need to shift it. If you’ve had the therapy and processed what happened, perhaps you are just stuck in your old way of being. When we think the same things over and over again, they become ingrained and habitual – that’s how we can drive without thinking or do two things at once and hold a conversation at the same time. We are on autopilot.

If you have been dealing with an old issue for many months or longer – perhaps being traumatised is a bad habit.

PLEASE DON’T SHOUT AT ME THIS WILL NOT BE THE CASE FOR EVERYONE WHAT SO EVER… It was just MY experience.

I had gotten so used to feeling a certain way and thinking certain thoughts that I had to make a massive change in the way I lived and reacted to my own mind in order to make the change. In truth, my issues weren’t still there because they were very complex… although they may have been,… they were there because I was in the habit of thinking them.

Never the less the trauma was very real – at the time and it reignited every time I replayed it in my mind. It made me feel trapped, traumatised and horrible. But after months of thinking differently by intercepting my thoughts and doing new things in different ways to create new habits, it started to change. It hasn’t all gone but it is enough to know that I am on to something with this.

Does this mean the therapists were wrong in saying it was a lot to deal with and it would take a long time to work out. I am not qualified to say. What I am qualified to say is that Eckhart Tolle’s explanations of the mind and how we tell ourselves lots of complicated stories really resonates with me and it has become almost a mantra for me… is this real or is it a story I’m telling about the situation?

As a short term measure, If you insist on listening to your mind and stories, at least tell the best story that you can… don’t make it into a terrible, gory story that convinces you that you simply must live your life as a wounded victim.

EVEN better if you can let the pain go, feel it and release it and stop telling yourself any stories at all.

I want to highly recommend a few audios that really helped me heal and release my trauma:

How to stop worrying and start living Dale Carnegie – it’s very old and was first printed in the UK in1948. Despite its age, it continues to be both comforting and exhilerating when it comes to giving you a sense of camaraderie and support when dealing with getting over difficult things in your life. I love the audio book and have it on audible. The narrator’s voice is so comforting. (Affiliate link below):

Eckhart Tolle (books, audio and YouTube channel) – Take the time to watch a few hours of Eckhart Tolle clips on YouTube and you will not be disappointed. His explanation of how the mind talks and tells us stories is so on point. It might take some time to get into and perhaps you may find it doesn’t resonate at first but |I would encourage you to stick with it or come back to it when you feel compelled. Eckhart Tolle’s work is the best spiritual awakening information there is out there in my opinion.

Kim Eng YouTube– Kim Eng is Eckhart Tolle’s partner and her few videos on his channel are absolutely brilliant. Her explanation of how to move through and process trauma give really practical advice that goes deep. A lot of information about letting go of old pain is very superficial and means that we are left with a sense of emptiness or in-completion. Kim Eng addresses the trauma on a physical, emotional and spiritual level so that the releasing and the healing is deep.

I hope you find this blog helpful. Please read, subscribe and share. Thank you guys

Love Kat xx

Why we need to change…

I just watched an original film by Gary Vee on change:

It’s so important to change that I thought I’d talk to you about it today. It’s something I have always had very mixed feelings about and here is why, I change my mind on things constantly. I went through a ten year period in my life when I moved every six months and I’ve changed my job or life path so many times I’ve lost count. For example I’ve been an artist, a teacher, a dancer, a singer, a tribute act, a songwriter, a sales rep, a tour manager… there’s probably loads more, but they’re probably the most interesting ones.

Wayne Dyer is one of my favourite people. I met him some years ago and he had such a good energy, a genuine man. He once said,

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”

Wayne Dyer:

 

As people who are looking to become more awakened or conscious in the way we are and live, I think we recognise the idea that we need to have massive change in our attitudes. Things we’re already really aware of would be things like needing to be more grateful, be more humble, be less judgemental… all of these things are conscious changes that most awakening people recognise and work on.

There is no doubt, particularly if you are new to awakening and you want to live a happier life, working on these things will help… So ideas on this would be, for example:

Being more grateful I recommend keeping a gratitude journal and writing three things in it morning and night… also make a note every night of how the Universe has helped you. Perhaps you had a near miss with something or found something you were looking for or you were in the right place at the right time. A law of attraction coach I had fifteen years ago, got me to do this and it really does make you aware of how things are going well for you. It re orients your mind to see this more and the more you see it, the more it occurs.

Being more humble Every time you go to tell someone about something you have done or achieved, don’t! Ha ah.. It’s tempting to do but it doesn’t help as it creates its opposite… if get into the habit of talking about our achievements in such a way that we want to advertise it to others, this becomes an issue when everything goes to the wall, which it invariably will do, since this is a duality. Recognising that we are sometimes up and sometimes down and this is no reflection on us but on the nature of life, is very helpful. If we are telling others how we have done well, we are really entering into competition and setting ourselves up for anxiety regarding any future loss or fail.

Be less judgemental I truly believe that almost everyone – if not everyone – you judge could be you… If you look hard enough, you can see that almost everything you complain about or point fault at in others could perhaps also be directed at you by someone else or in a different time. I am lucky, I have a very quick karma… if I get annoyed that someone has done something and I complain (even internally) about it, I will almost instantly unintentionally do the same sort of stupid thing in my own life as if to demonstrate my own ignorance at being judgemental. Reserve judgement. If you can’t do it internally, at least don’t say it out loud. Instead say, ‘that could be me’ and be compassionate to see how that could be true.

On the whole starting to see that we’re all pretty much the same, you are no more or less special than anyone else, there is no need to compete and push as if life is a race or a heartless game, the happier you’ll be. Love others, help, be of service, talk other women (or men) up not down…This is the change that most awakening talks of and it is fantastic advice.

But it’s not really the change I want to talk about today. Today’s change is more practical. It’s more about being prepared to change our minds and change the direction and course of our lives.

I believe there are three big myths around our lives that can cause us to get stuck:

Myth 1… We tend to think that change is hard We think the way we are fundamentally is more set in stone than it is. I was afraid of flying for twenty years… it was very strong, very real, very full on… I’ve written about this change in every nearly every book I’ve written because it was such a shocking revelation when it went. I had a nervous breakdown and the fear just went. I will never know why for sure. It made me see how bizarre and flaky our minds really are. There I was thinking I had this huge issue and all of a sudden it was gone – probably because I had an even bigger issue to deal with. Starting to imagine that your mind is not as set as you think is a massive eye opener… it also demonstrates something I’ve become very aware of and that is the need to challenge your fears… they’re probably not as hard to break through as you think.

Myth 2… We think Changing your life, your ideas, your habits or your opinions makes you flaky or weak It’s the opposite – it shows strength, growth and humility. There’s only one way to grow and that’s to change. Regarding other people’s opinions, I found a real stigma around it but check out the people who challenge you for changing your life or taking chances on living your best life. Are they really trying to help you or are they projecting their issues or fears on to you? Regarding self judgement, if you know intuitively that you need to make a change then don’t be afraid to follow it. This is growth. This is good. However, be careful not to be impetuous or emotional – this is not the same as being intuitive of course. Making changes will not cause your life to implode. It’s much easier to chop and change about than fear based modern culture would have you believe.

Myth 3… It’s too late There’s such a sense that if you’re not in your perfect life by 25 then you’re in trouble. It just isn’t true at all. Where ever we are, we are just getting started! If we’re 18 or 80, there’s still every reason to change your life if it’s what you want. It’s our natural state as human beings to expand and grow… some motivational people say if you’re not growing you’re dying. I’m not sure I’d agree with that, but it is our natural state to want to grow. Perhaps if you’re going through an awakening, you have started to realise that you would be better to grow on the vertical level rather than horizontal but it’s all growth. By this I mean that you are looking for greater self awareness, depth and a sense of beingness as growth rather than just accumulating more on a horizontal 3D level. The idea of it being too late is just that – an idea in the mind. If you check your thoughts, mostly they are negative and fearful – it’s always too late or wrong or not right for you if you listen to the mind. The mind likes a sad story about itself and for itself. Spending time tuning out of the mind and into the heart will give you the zest and impetus to make the changes.

I would urge you to watch Gary Vee’s film, whilst he may or may not be someone you like, his ideas about change will change your views on changing.

If we want to really grow, we may well need to make big changes, that might mean looking stupid or like we’ve messed up, so what? We’re growing and learning human beings. I know that I’d rather look stupid in other people’s eyes than wrong in my own. Perhaps we’re actually being challenged by our situations in order that we can overcome our addictions to other peoples opinions… how about that??? It certainly has been the case for me and perhaps for you too.

The main points I really want to make are that you’re not wrong to make changes to your life as and when you feel guided, it’s never too late and it’s probably easier than you think.

Love Kat xx

‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ That’s something that we were all asked when we were little. When I was growing up in northern England most of the boys wanted to be policemen, firemen or footballers. My younger brother, at the age of five, decided he wanted to be a ‘drain man’ like our dad (my dad worked for the highways department of the local council) and consequently, during a writing lesson in school, wrote about and then drew a picture of himself with his head sticking out of a manhole in the middle of a road. However, this was not the norm! I wanted to be a teacher or a vet. Most of the girls wanted to be princesses or hairdressers, as I recall.

Until recently, I worked in a school and heard one of my colleagues ask a small group of children the very same question. It’s interesting to see what a difference a few decades makes. One boy stated that he wanted to be an electrician but every other child said the same thing. ‘I want to be a YouTuber’. ‘OOOoooo’ my colleague vocalised in a kind of moderately confused state. You see, she is fifty and has no real understanding of being a YouTuber. I know this because, when the children left she made a point of saying that she didn’t really realise that it was ‘a thing’.

Most of us, whatever our age, if we are still moderately active in the modern world know of YouTube and use it to a greater or lesser extent. However, it does seem to have more appeal to the younger generation. In the school I worked in, it was definitely looked down on the the teaching staff as a ‘non-activity’ that children wasted their time on. Why did they want to watch a group of people seeing how many hours they could stay in a bathroom or someone filling their swimming pool with slime? What was the appeal of watching someone pranking their neighbour, parent or an innocent passer by? Whilst I think I’m too old to be able to really answer that, I can say that I am absolutely with the kids in loving YouTube. I watch it most days and find it the most incredible source of joy, inspiration and unfiltered information.

This is how I got the idea of van life into my head. It was a regular day like any other and I sat down to eat my usual lunch of a chicken salad. I propped up my ipad and Freja (the dog) promptly sat in front of it as is her tendency. Having pushed her out of the way several times, eventually having to lure her away with the promise of a piece of chicken, I clicked on to the recommended videos to see what was there. I found a video from ‘Eamon and Bec’, a Canadian van life couple and – since they were in Mexico – I decided to watch it. When I clicked on it, I didn’t even realise it was about living in a van or on the road. I think it was the thumbnail and the place they were in in Mexico that appealed. I watched it and enjoyed it. Consequently, I watched a few more of their videos.

Even though I now feel I am completely committed to travelling and writing about it, it is a relatively new endeavour of mine. Until a few years ago, I was terrified of flying and so, I never really travelled any more than I had to and I didn’t have any inclination to change it. Having had a significant life altering experience, I found that my fear of flying disappeared and a whole new world of possibility opened up to me. I went on my first US tour and was bitten by the travel bug. Ever since then I had been trying to find a way to travel full time or as much as I could. I also wanted to find where I belonged. Where could I base myself and how could I make it all work? As much as I love England and am more grateful than I could ever express that I was born British, I do not really feel to fit in in England. When I visited America, I instantly felt like they were my people.

So, the last year or so has seen these various questions of where to be and where to settle running in the back of my head. I also have my dog Freja to think about. I don’t like leaving her behind and the cost is not insignificant at all. I’ve considered living abroad and maybe settling somewhere but every place, at this stage of my life, makes me feel feel uneasy. I’ve been to do many places I’ve loved and, like I said, I feel at home in America, but the thought of picking a place and sticking to it at this point, feels off. Until I watched the van life vlogs, this feeling of everywhre making me feel trapped made me concerned. I mean, I had to live somewhere! It bothered me how I seemed to always want to be moving. I feel inclined to also point out here that whilst I love to be on the move, rather inconveniently, I am not a brave or courageous person per se. I am pretty bookish and low key. I like my own little routines. Let’s be honest, it’s clear to see why I’ve spent a lot of the year metaphorically scratching my head and wondering how I would find a solution… Enter, van life.

It took me a good few days of van life vlogs before it dawned on me that perhaps I could do it too. The couple of times I’d gone camping, I’d hated it and so the idea of this nature of travel never really appealed to me but the more van vlogs popped up in my feed, the more I watched and the more it started to occur to me that this could really be a solution. I could have the best of both worlds… my own little nest or haven that I moved around as and when I saw fit.

Van life also lined up with the desires that I’d recently written on my notice board. I wanted to get rid of more stuff, live a simpler life and concentrate on only doing things that actually felt nourishing or worthwhile. I was starting to wonder what the point of vacuuming every week really was. Obviously, everyone wants to be moderately clean and tidy but I’d felt increasingly over the last few years that I was up-keeping this massive space and presenting it so beautifully, but for what reason? What did having a lovely, perfect and sizeable house really mean? It certainly meant I needed to earn a lot and spend every Saturday cleaning it. All I can say is that my interest in this was waning.

So I started to watch more vlogs and accumulate ideas about how to become a van lifer. I knew I needed to buy myself another place and had always assumed it was going to be an apartment somewhere or other. I can’t deny that the idea of finding the money to buy a van rather than a twenty five percent deposit appealed. Not only did van life look incredible, it was the cheaper alternative too. But, I can’t deny it, it did and still does scare me. I have been single for a while and, even when I wasn’t technically single, lived a partially single life. So I am no stranger to being alone or doing things solo. But, this is very different to being in a van somewhere with only a little chihuahua for protection and company.

But it feels right in my soul. I love the idea of constantly moving, of doing my own thing and not having to answer to anyone or anything within reason. More than this, I like the fact that I won’t get chance to inadvertently get dragged into the rat race as it’s so easy to do. When I spend time with people, I can do it in an authentic way person to person rather than through the filter of a town or place’s social structure and system. I also don’t have to listen to or subject myself to the barrage of nonsense media and time wasting drama.

How am I going to do it? I don’t know yet. I have considered travelling in my car to start with in order to try it. I’ve also contemplated every type of van – big or small? Do I start from scratch and build it myself or buy one ready made? Do I start in England or set off into Europe and go all in? There are lots of questions and I’m not sure of the answers. I do know that the idea has been with me for a few weeks now and I feel good about it. That sense of concern about how to be both settled and on the move at the same time apparently does have an answer.

So apparently, what I want to be when I grow up is a ‘traveller’ or ‘wanderer’. I’m not surprised I’m becoming increasingly nomadic and I’m thrilled to finally have an answer. To be quite honest, the older I get the more my list of requirements diminishes. My only real requirement now is to be joyful. It will be interesting to see if it really does appeal in real life. Who knows what will happen? Stay tuned!